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>> hello. welcome to "european journal" from the dw studios here in brussels. good to be with you. let's take a look at what is coming up in today's program -- chinese investors bring a touch of eastern promised to french vineyards. military protests in portugal bring crisis even deeper. the people of albania lived under a brutal, stalinist dictatorship for more than 40 years. one of the most brutal regimes in eastern europe. under the iron grip, hundreds of
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thousands died, and many more dissidents were sent to prison camps. these days, as albania tries to show a new democratic base to the world, even hoping one day to become a member of the european union, the past is still there to haunt it. former political prisoners are fighting a bitter battle for compensation, but not even hunger strikes seem likely to convince the current government. >> we go to the site of the hunger strike. the word "democracy" is still written on the wall. strikers refused food for weeks, and then police came and took away their water and medicine. this is where one strikers set himself on fire. the man did not survive. he was recently buried. >> the hunger strike was the result of 21 years of humiliation and discrimination of former political prisoners in
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this country. we are walking corpses. our bodies are alive, but our spirits have died. >> all their energy goes into the fight. many are mental rex, dependent on drugs or alcohol -- many are mental wrecks. the solidarity within the group is all they have left. that is why the group has gathered at the court to show support for one of their number who is charged with organizing the hunger strike. the judges limousines are parked in front of the building. officially, the magistrates and 600 euros per month, beginning just as in albania usually involves money changing hands. the case involves 20 victims of the communist dictatorship. they spent years in prison for protesting against the brutal
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isolationist regime. now they are victims again of a government that is refusing them compensation. under a law passed in 2007, the former dissidents are entitled to 14 euros for every day they spent in jail. most of the men have received only a fraction of that. we go to meet his father. the government has allotted him a room. the toilets down the corridor are hardly more than holes in the floor, and they stink. the father was also a victim of the dictatorship. he says the political prisoners were exploited and lost their property. >> i had a house in the center of town -- two bedrooms, a living room, with a big garden. today, there are three or four apartment buildings there.
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>> albania is celebrating 100 years of independence. flags lined the streets of the capital. the country wants to move closer to the rest of europe, and 11,000 former political prisoners are bad publicity. the main governing party says the hunger strike was opposite -- was orchestrated by the opposition. >> these actions are not normal. in fact, they are simply undemocratic. they are getting people to commit these actions for political motives. in this case, it is specifically about blocking and albania's integration into the european union. >> the dissidents'acts of desperation are being turned into a political conspiracy. the debate is a political one. albania has shown little interest in compensating the victims. come to terms with the past is not on the political agenda in
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albania. it is only communist country whose secret police archives are still close. >> there are forces in albania that are reactionary or else they have a criminal past they are trying to cover up. these forces are now holding key positions in this country, and that includes the justice system and even the parliament. then he would be happy to be leading a normal life. he and his wife have built up a modest livelihood operating a small kiosk, but in april, he gave another television interview. that was one too many. them on may 6, the police came with bulldozers.
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there were nearly 100 people. four or five cars full of police. they did not show any documents. they did not ask any questions. they just tore it all down. >> he shows us the photos on his cell phone. the ruins of his existence. again. but he says they are determined not to give up. the protests will continue. >> well, from of a need to france now. ask anyone the question -- what are the french most famous for? it is likely that the answer -- well, one of the answers anyway -- would be producing wine, but a growing number of those world famous vineyards are being bought up by the chinese as a new middle class in china is starting to develop a taste for french wine. investors are seeing new
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opportunities in the big wine regions, and not unexpectedly, it is a development which is not popular with some of the french. >> it seems everything she turns her hand to is a success. she is one of china's biggest celebrities -- singer, model, actress -- and now honor of a prestigious french vineyard. it was in french hands for four centuries before the chinese came. in china, red wine has become the latest new thing, and increasing numbers of chinese are heading to france to invest in their very own vineyard. >> i tried several other lines before, but when i came here, everything was just right -- the building, the surroundings, everything. i fell in love with the place straightaway, and the wine. >> time for a toast with the previous owner, who is obviously pleased with the sale.
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the purchase price is undisclosed. chinese buyers often pay much more than the norm. even if they do not understand each other, everyone understands the language of money. business is conducted through an interpreter. >> people in our region realize that when a foreigner buys a vineyard, they will invest a lot and even try to improve the quality of the wind, and they will sell it back to china. they are basically an advertisement. our wine cannot do any better than that in china. >> the young woman has a shrewd business sense and is not leaving anything to chance. a well-known wine label and a famous name is a winning combination. the chinese film star's label is guaranteed to sell well back home. >> we are proud of her. she's the first chinese actress to own a chateau.
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it is an honor. >> and a lucrative one, with a country of 1 billion people thirsty for red wine. >> i like to share of the things. i came here because bordeaux is getting more and more popular in china. i want to offer this line to the whole world, but especially to the chinese. >> the chinese market spends around 600 million euros a year on the order 1, and that has increased since their compatriots started investing -- on bordeaux wine, and that has increased since their compatriots started investing. in burgundy, it is a different story. china is not a great export destination. there's a strong sense of tradition, and the french prefer to keep production in their own hands, but now that a vineyard has been sold to a chinese investor, they are wary.
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>> the chinese are increasingly interested in our burgundy wine. many come here. most are wine connoisseur is more less. >> the problem in burgundy is that the wine-growing area is relatively small. there are far fewer states than in bordeaux, and chinese investors are driving up the prices of land and houses. >> if there's anything up for sale here, we would prefer to get together and buy it. the chinese just want to show off. they are investing just to make a name for themselves, for their egos. >> it is a pity -- our heritage must remain in french hands. it should not be given to foreigners. otherwise, we will end up losing a piece of our unique burgundy culture. >> this is the 13th century
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chateau and wine estate at the heart of the controversy. when a casino owner from a cow came along and offered to pay the 3 million euro asking price, locals got together and offer 5 million -- when a casino owner from macao came along and offered to pay the $3 million -- the 3 million your asking price, locals got together and offered 5 million. he offered 8 million, and the deal was settled. back in a large wine region of bordeaux, people think their fellow wine growers in burgundy are crazy, but there is a lot more willing to sell year, so chinese investors are welcome. today, the film star is receiving a huge accolade -- induction into the brotherhood of bordeaux wine growers.
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china is a major export market, and it pays to be out with looking, say the wine growers. >> just imagine a french person going to china and not being accepted because he is french. no, you have to let them in. you have to be professional about it. >> professionalism is the name of everyone here, from the distinguished brotherhood the nouveau riche chinese actress. the newly inducted 11 estate owner is about to play one of the most lucrative roles of her life. now she has to do is learn french. >> the word "austerity" is a word everyone is tired of hearing in europe these days, but it is the mantra of so many european governments forced to make savage cutbacks in public spending to try to save their countries from financial meltdown. the response is more and more
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protests on the streets by despairing citizens. well, of course, portugal has been one of the country's worst hit by the crisis, but the portuguese people seem to be quieter than many others about their fate -- until now, that is. as the portuguese government tightens its belt even further, to be able to qualify for international bailout, the patience of the people has snapped. now even the army is accusing the government of the trail. -- of the trail. a silent march by thousands of people through lisbon is an unusual demonstration. these are portugal's soldiers, rallying to show their discontent at the government does the planned cuts as part of the 2013 budget. usually, members of the portuguese military are banned from making any political statement, so they have come dressed in plainclothes and are
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calling their demonstration simply a walk. >> we are happy that some many have come. we want to show that our country cannot go on like this. the policies have to change. >> portugal was long praised by both brussels and berlin for its exemplary cutbacks, but in lisbon and elsewhere in the country, discontent is brewing. criticism of the government's policies from the country's military association surely sets alarm bells ringing. at their meeting, the reservists are especially keen to share their views. >> the main blame lies with our government. it does not really represent our
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country's interests, and it is far too passive with regards to the troika -- brussels, the imf, and the central bank. >> at the military base in lisbon, little remains of the once proud seafaring nation. a few frigates, a couple of submarines. the military has also been hit by the cuts. members are equipped with year that has long been outdated. these naval infantry are still carrying guns from the 1970's. professional soldiers have already taken a pay cut of up to 30%. an officer gets 500 euros a month less before tax. there have been few promotions. discontent among the ranks is growing. some of their leaders are
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putting a brave face on it. >> of course we have had cuts. but the naval infantry's task is to face difficult missions, so we will manage this situation as well. >> portugal's military has long been an important part of the country's history. on april 25, 1974, this song was played on the radio. it was the signal for the army to occupy lisbon, and the largely peaceful uprising marked the end of nearly 15 years of dictatorship. in all their joy, portuguese people pressed red carnations into the hands of soldiers. this lieutenant colonel played an active role in the carnation revolution. today, he is chairman of the 25
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of april association, a group that aims to defend the legacy of the peaceful coup of 1974. he says the military brought democracy to portugal then, but the crisis has put it all in jeopardy. >> i regret what is currently happening. we have achieved a fair society, and now that is being destroyed. we are reverting to a society of great inequality -- the poor get poorer and the rich get richer. >> his office window looks down on the streets of lisbon's old town where the historic events of 40 years ago unfolded. for the portuguese people, the uprising did bring a better future.
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but that is in danger now that the highly indebted country has accepted almost 80 billion bailout money from the e you in return for implementing a rigid austerity package. the economy has shrunk for the past three years. unemployment and poverty are on the rise, and there's no end in sight to the economic slump. soup kitchens have opened up all over lisbon. the number of needy is growing. so is resentment to those who have placed the conditions on the portuguese government. >> we are under occupation. not a military one, but we are occupied all the same period in many ways, life today resembles life under a dictatorship more than in a democracy. >> members of the military gather at this historic monetary -- monastery for a
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service. it is a time for quiet contemplation, but the military bishop also expresses the thoughts that are going through many mines. "the situation is explosive," he says, "and uprising can no longer be ruled out." so far, the portuguese have patiently fulfilled all the requirements meted out by distant brussels, but their patience is wearing thin, and so is the military's. >> many officers are beginning to question their treatment by europe and wondering weather our country's independence and sovereignty are not in danger. >> but on their walk through lisbon, the soldiers stressed that portugal is not on the brink of a military coup.
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they say the army brought democracy to portugal and does not want to get rid of it. what they want is to finally be heard by their own government and by the rest of europe. >> it depends where you live in the world, but there are all sorts of traditions associated with dying. the colors we tend to associate with death in the west are gray, black, and may be purple, and graveyards are rather somber places to be -- maybe purple, and graveyards are rather somber places to be, but if you visit this cemetery in northern romania, you'll get a much jollier approach to the end of life. the brightly painted headstones become a big tourist attraction, and so are the epitaphs. some of them are brutally honest about just why or how a person died. >> the acetamide bucharest is romania's most famous concert house, but it is about to play host to a very unusual performance about a man fighting
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to preserve his life's work -- the athenaeum in bucharest. he makes crosses for the village. as one celebrates the life of two gun-loving brothers his dissolute life style contributed to their early demise -- two fun-loving brothers whose a dissolute life style contributed to their early demise. the cross must be returned unscathed. >> i have removed two cemetery crosses for this concert, as i want people to sense the uniqueness of these art works. each are one-of-a-kind and have made our village known around the world. >> here at his cemetery, he wants his colorful crosses to take the fight out of death, not a whitewash it. >> here is someone who passed away at 45.
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basically, the verse says, " schnapps is girl poison, those who like a good skinful will come to an end as i did." here you can see the bottle and there is death. >> a wood carver had the idea of tainting crosses with art and poems. after his death, his apprentice carried on the tradition, even wearing traditional clothes, but the future of what he thought was a dead sure business is in jeopardy. others in the village are now producing the famous crosses as well, so he has brought his art works to the concert house in bucharest where musicians will literally singing their praises -- literally singing their praises. >> some people in our village have started making the crosses with machines.
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it is quicker with a machine, but you lose their uniqueness. the process must be done by hand. >> he is also fighting to secure his family's future. a few weeks before his trip to bucharest, the woodworker crafted binges two-seat several hundred people in preparation for a wedding that is the top of the town -- talk of the town. his daughter is married and a nephew of the daughter of the founder of the cemetery. she is the woman seen here in the middle preparing the traditional stuffed cabbage. >> only outsiders find it complicated. the current woodcarvers daughter is married and the grandaddy of the cemetery's founder, and the nicest thing is -- they really like each other -- the current woodcarver's daughter is marrying the granddaughter of the cemetery's founder.
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>> they have been sending a message to others in the village, but it is unclear weather the competition is listening. family battles being fought in deadly earnest -- >> the battle is being fought in deadly earnest. for now, he has convinced an irish composer to put his cross es' verses to music. >> the important thing is for us to be married, to celebrate, to have joy, and that is what this cemetery does -- to be merry. >> this is not about my copyright. i have no problem with other people making nice crosses, but they should be able to do it by hand. >> the artist can spend several months on the artwork and poetry on a single cross. listening to the versus be sung, you cannot help think that schnapps and money play a big role in village life.
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still, few would want a verse like this on their gravestones. "from the age of 14, had worked for a living. heavy work with the axe and saw, this poor old world of mind. it was hard to live through it." he remains adamant his crosses tell the truth and nothing but. >> the epitaph i like is the one that said "i like to drink but may be sometimes too much." that is it for "european journal" for this week. i hope you enjoyed the program. to send your thoughts to the usual address, or you can talk to us through our facebook page, of course. for now, from everyone here in brussels, have a good week. we will see you next time. captioned by the national captioning institute
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European Journal
KCSMMHZ December 1, 2012 8:30am-9:00am PST

Foie Gras Vs. Animal Welfare France Foie Gras vs. Animal Welfare. The French love their foie gras, and the fatty liver product is a must at up-market events. But the producers of the luxury food are coming under attack. The production of foie gras involv

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